Welcome to the Deaf Support Department
The Deaf Support Department (DSD) is a specialist unit (SERF) within Ashton CSC, providing the resources and support necessary to facilitate the inclusion of profoundly and severely deaf students into a mainstream secondary school environment. It was set up in 1990 to serve the whole of Lancashire, and we have had students travel by taxi from as far as Lancaster, Nelson and Lytham; we also have students from the Blackburn & Darwen authority. Deaf students are members of forms, have the same uniform and disciplinary code as mainstream students and are encouraged to enter fully into the life of the school.
The Department is based in the Hive building and has two dedicated classrooms. However, the members of staff within the deaf support department support the students in mainstream lessons if appropriate. Staff ensure that lessons are delivered at a level commensurate with each student's linguistic abilities, so that they are able to understand the content and undertake set tasks (differentiated as required); in many cases lessons are signed using Sign-Supported English, in combination with oral and written methods, alongside full use of students' residual hearing. This 'Total Communication' approach ensures that every child has the fullest possible access to the mainstream curriculum.
Lessons in the Department
It is the norm for deaf students to be taught in mainstream classes, except for English and Modern Foreign Languages (although we have some pupils who study both of these in mainstream groups). For most of our students, their limited language skills mean that it is more appropriate to follow our own scheme of work, which is taught within the Department, leading to AQA Entry Level or the Unit Award Scheme.